Jasmine Smith’s story is a story of victory, self-determination and redemption. She is a young woman determined to use her life to lift the lives of others.
Smith has lived in the Inland Empire most of her life. When asked to share her background she readily admitted that her journey has not always been pretty. “My past has made me the person I am today,” she proclaimed. “And, because of what I’ve been through in life, it has shown me the need for ‘Unspoken Favor’ in our community—for our youth and young adults in the church.”
Smith, who was driven to found the organization, Unspoken Favor, said her inspiration for the group was rooted in what she experienced being in church and at times, feeling lost; “Feeling like no one understood what I was going through—feeling like I did not belong,” she explained.
The phrase “unspoken favor” was inspired by Smith’s grandmother, Rosie Lee Woodson, whom she credits with being the reason Smith came back to the church. “She prayed for me every day while I was going through my mess. She told me that God had shown me favor even when I was in those times that are unspoken. He loved me that much.”
According to Smith, “Unspoken Favor” is not only an organization but a movement aimed at creating opportunities for churches in the Inland region, “ . . . to all come together as one,” she explained. “To forget the titles of the various churches you attend and [while together] to praise and worship God as one body—the body of Christ.”
On September 24, Unspoken Favor is hosting an event that will do exactly that. A number of local churches participating in the event will have information available for attendees regarding their various ministry classes and fellowship events. It will also feature live entertainment. The proceeds will be used to support church-related youth programs. “The proceeds will be used to start our basketball teams, our dance classes and stomp\drill teams,” Smith shared. The group also plans to launch a Big Brother/ Big Sister initiative.
Another major goal of the event is to raise money so the cost of participation in the programs will not place a heavy financial burden on parents. “In this day and time,” Smith offered, “Our youth are not involved because [too often] the parents can’t afford it.” Smith continued that as a parent herself, “I see it and understand how hard it is. And so I want to make a place where our babies can come to have fun; be a part of something; and learn about the word of God.” Smith is committed to working to assure the program will not only be something parents can afford, but also something they are proud to be a part of.
The September 24 affair is Unspoken Favor’s second event. “The more and more we get involved in our community,” Smith asserted, “We are seeing the different needs of our young adults and our youth. We see the youth need places they can go that understand their religious views and their relationships with God.”
According to Smith there are a number of young people involved in the church that want to participate in programs where they feel comfortable speaking openly about God or just having general conversations. “Unspoken Favor wants to be that place,” she affirmed. “These programs will be open to any youth that love God and want to be a part of it.”
The September 24 event begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Bobby Bonds Theater, 2060 University Avenue, Riverside. VIP tickets are on sale now for $25 and include drinks and appetizers. To purchase tickets and/or for additional information call (323) 849-5155.
Smith is the daughter of Reverend Clarence E. and Cecilia Smith; and the mother of four-year-old Zion. To learn more about Unspoken Favor and/or to get involved, email Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 849- 5155.